Doctors fear mute 'Piano Man' will never be identified

Now, four months later, the mute blond virtuoso remains in a psychiatric hospital in Dartford. His carerssaid yesterday that they believe that he may never be identified.

He was taken to the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham on 7 April and when staff gave him a pen and paper, he drew detailed pictures of a grand piano. When he was shown a piano in the hospital chapel, he played classical music "beautifully" for four hours.

Staff at the West Kent NHS Trust are still sifting through a list of more than 200 names provided during a welter of publicity about the case when it first became public in May.

Camera crews from Germany to Japan descended on bemused citizens of the Isle of Sheppey, where Piano Man was found, as news of the talented musician in a wet suit spread around the globe. But despite a number of promising leads, ranging from suggestions that Piano Man was a French street musician to a Czech concert pianist, nothing has come to light which has given the patient a nationality, let alone a name. A source at the West Kent trust said: "We have discounted a lot of the names and continue to look at those which remain. But there is no obvious lead - we haven't had someone bashing down the door saying, 'This is my son' or 'This is my brother'.

"Given the enormous amount of publicity about Piano Man we think it surprising that someone who knows him has not come forward.

"It is possible that his family lead an isolated existence and have not seen the stories but we have to prepare ourselves for the fact that we may never know who he is and that he may be with us for a long time."

The search for the identity of the slightly-built man is being conducted by the trust with the help of Scotland Yard and the National Missing Persons Helpline.

But in the absence of a definite claim from a family member, staff are having to rely on names provided by people identifying Piano Man as a school friend or acquaintance.

The team are also having to deal with calls from families claiming Piano Man as a long-disappeared relative. The source said: "We have had people saying he is a long-lost child or something on similar lines but sadly they are cases of hope rather than reality."

Psychiatrists do not know why the man, who continues to shrink from any stranger, has not spoken a word for four months. Diagnoses of his condition initially focused on post-traumatic stress disorder but it is now thought he may be an autistic savant. Sufferers of the condition can display extraordinary but highly specific talents, such as drawing or mathematics, while at the same time remaining withdrawn or uncommunicative to the point of remaining silent.

The removal of labels from clothing can also be associated with autism.

Officially the trust will not comment on the young man's treatment beyond saying that his physical health remains good. But it is understood he is showing increasing signs of rapport with a small number of trusted carers.

When Piano Man was found wandering in the dark beside the beach, he had not only cut the labels from the dark suit he was wearing but also rubbed any identifying marks from his shoes.

The sheer lack of any identifying signs along with Piano Man's inability to communicate has produced a succession of theories as to how he arrived on the Kent coast, from being a Norwegian sailor to a member of a visiting orchestra.

Staff at the Littlebrook Hospital are increasingly clinging on to the hope that Piano Man will himself give up his identity.

A spokesman said: "It may be that matters suddenly progress and the next thing we hear about Piano Man is that he has been returned to his family."

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
peopleFilm star says he is 'not interested in making money anymore'
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
footballAccording to revelations from Sergio Aguero's new biography
News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
News
news
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Life and Style
Meow! ... Again, Kim Kardashian goes for a sexy Halloween costume, wrapping her body with a latex catsuit and high heeled knee boots
fashionFrom Heidi Klum to Kim Kardashian
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
Arts and Entertainment
filmsOculus Rift offers breathtakingly realistic simulation of zero gravity
Life and Style
tech

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    ***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

    £30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    ***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

    £47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker